World Environment Day – Lib Dems tackle air pollution crisis

Today, Liberal Democrats in Westminster are tabling a bill to give local authorities more powers to issue fines to idling vehicles. 

The Bill will increase penalties for stationary vehicle idling offences, as well as increasing fines for those who repeatedly offend.

In 2002 councils in England were given powers to serve fixed penalty notices of £20 to drivers who refuse to turn off their engines when asked by a traffic warden.

This Conservative Government, however, has failed to take air pollution seriously. They have lost numerous court cases over their inability to tackle the toxic fumes that Britain breathes every day. Liberal Democrats demand better.

Air pollution continues to be the number one environmental cause of early death in the EU, with estimates of over 400 000 premature deaths per year. Public awareness of air pollution is high and citizens expect the authorities to act. 

The legislation tabled today by the Lib Dems Climate Change spokesperson, Wera Hobhouse MP, is a crucial step in tackling our air pollution crisis. It will allow local authorities to clamp down on idling without the need to apply to the Government first, and it will enable them to increase fines on repeat offenders.

We must do more to tackle both the climate emergency and the air pollution crisis. Tories in Westminster must stop wilfully ignoring the problem and back the Bill.

Thank You for your support.

Thank you, thank you to everyone who voted for the Liberal Democrats in the European elections 2019. You are amazing.

HUGE THANKS
Huge thanks go in particular to the campaigners across the South East of England who bundled, delivered, tweeted, facebooked and put up those fabulous stake boards and posters. With little media coverage, this is what we rely on to get our message out.

RESULTS
The Liberal Democrat vote in the South East of England more than tripled. We elected three MEPs. Please seek us out on social media. You can read about us, here:

ACROSS THE UK
In a fantastic result spread across the UK, Liberal Democrats elected 16 MEPs. Our biggest team ever. This is a clear indication that people want to STOP BREXIT.

REMAIN WON
The papers are parading a Brexit Party victory, but the total vote for all the Remain-leaning parties clearly outweighs UKIP and the Brexit Party.

  • Lib Dems, Greens, SNP, Plaid and Change UK – all backers of a second referendum polled 39.1%.
  • No-dealers, Ukip and the Brexit Party collectively achieved just 33.7%.

It’s not often that I post links to the Daily Telegraph, but it is particularly sweet to read their report on the result: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/05/27/won-uks-european-elections-leave-remain/

Here, in the South East of England, Nigel Farage’s home territory, we held the Brexit Party to four seats only – the same number of seats that UKIP won in 2014. This time, UKIP won no seats. There was no improvement in representation for Leave.

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT MEPs
You can find out more about the full Liberal Democrat team across the UK, here: https://www.libdems.org.uk/meps

THIS IS NOT THE END
I will write more in the next day or so, but this is just the beginning. Our campaign to Stop Brexit goes on and will continue until we win a People’s Vote.

JOIN US
If you would like to join the team – please sign up here:
https://www.libdems.org.uk/joining-us

We’re leading the fight for an Exit from Brexit

Read the Liberal Democrat manifesto for the European elections 2019, here: https://www.libdems.org.uk/manifesto

Liberal Democrats believe that Britain is better off in the EU. That’s why we’re fighting for an Exit from Brexit.

The Conservatives are making a mess of Brexit, and the Labour Leadership continues to support them.

The Liberal Democrats want to give you the final say on the Brexit deal.

You should be able to choose whether the deal is the right deal for Britain’s future. If it’s not, then you should be able to reject it and remain in the European Union.

Newbury Weekly News: Report on EU voting and background information on Lib Dem Candidate #3.

Report, above, from the Newbury Weekly News. This includes a ittle background on me and what my main aims for this election are, which will not come as a surprise.

It also includes a handy guide to the EU voting system and, rather gloriously, a profile of Elizabeth O’Keefe, Cllr for Newbury Central, who takes over the Newbury Mayorship this coming weekend.

Change UK’s lead Scottish candidate endorses Lib Dems as party of Remain

“I have decided to end my candidacy for Change UK effective immediately. I am now calling for those in favour of remaining in the European Union, including all supporters of Change UK in Scotland, to do what is best for our collective voice in Europe and to support the Scottish Liberal Democrats in the upcoming European election.”

Lead Change UK candidate for Scotland, Cllr David Macdonald, said: 

“It has been an honour to be the lead candidate for Change UK for election to the European Parliament for the Scotland electoral region. This new party is genuinely a force for good in British politics and all of their supporters, candidates and elected members have played an integral part in trying to reshape the way in which politics is done in this country for the better. For my involvement within that movement I will be forever grateful. 

“After a great deal of reflection on the political landscape we are facing in Scotland at present, I have come to the point where I have realised that I must do what is best for the future of this country before anything else. If things continue as they are,  the remain vote will split in Scotland and put at risk the representation that supporters of remaining in the European Union so collectively desire. 

“For that reason I have decided to end my candidacy for Change UK effective immediately. I am now calling for those in favour of remaining in the European Union, including all supporters of Change UK in Scotland, to do what is best for our collective voice in Europe and to support the Scottish Liberal Democrats in the upcoming European election to better ensure that they gain representation and secure a seat in these European elections.   

“Over the past three weeks I have campaigned passionately for a new type of politics. A politics that is based on mutual respect, common understanding and shared values. I believe the action that I am taking today is consistent with those ideals.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie MSP added:

“This will have been a difficult decision for David as he clearly admires those in Change UK as do I.  David has recognised the emerging political landscape and rightly felt he had to act to unite the remain vote behind the Liberal Democrats.

“I invite each and every person across Scotland who wants to stop Brexit, no matter where their political loyalties have lain before, to lend their vote to the Liberal Democrats and fight for a positive future inside the EU.

“Brexit will cause immeasurable harm to every corner of Britain. We can’t let that happen. 

“If pro-Europeans unite and back the Liberal Democrats we can end the chaos and uncertainty.

“Voters have the opportunity to put a stop to the chaos on May 23rdby voting Liberal Democrat and demanding to stop Brexit.

“I want to thank David for taking this important step.”

Environment: Lib Dem form

If you want strong representation on environmental and other green issues in Europe, please read the post below. Where the environment is concerned, we have form:

While in government Liberal Democrats doubled renewable energy generation in the UK and planted 1 million trees. We extended the coastal path and set up the zero energy homes initiative. 

Read on for more information about the amazing work done by Ed Davey and the team on renewable energy and the environment, 2010 – 2012:

Renewable Energy and Environmental Action

Under Ed Davey’s determined stewardship as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, 2012 – 2015, somewhat to the consternation of conservatives such as Owen Paterson and George Osborne, the UK saw a massive investment in renewables and general toughening of environmentally protective policies.

Key facts:

  • Electricity generation from renewable sources doubled.
  • Renewable energy supplied 15% of the UK’s electricity, when the Liberal Democrats left government in 2015.
  • The average annual investment in renewables more than doubled 2012 – 2015.    
  • 2013, alone, saw £8bn investment in renewables.
  • Overall, a record, £37bn was secured for investment renewable-sourced electricity.
  • Solar PV investment 2011 – 2013 = £6.4 billion. Rather wonderfully, the cost of solar installation halved, 2010 – 2015.
  • Biomass and Bioenergy 2010 – 2013 = £6.3bn investment.
  • We supported carbon capture and storage research to the tune of £1bn – not bad for research funding.  
  • We established the world’s first Green Investment Bank
  • The Liberal Democrats led Europe to agree a new more ambitious EU-wide climate change target
  • We planted more than 1 million trees.
  • We halted Conservative plans to scrap Natural England and give up on the England Coast Path.
  • We secured safe funding for the coastal project.

European Elections 2019

If you are a Green supporter, in the European Elections 2019 please lend the Liberal Democrats your vote.

I hate to ask this, but our track record shows how we care about the environment. We are more likely to #StopBrexit and achieve change if we can focus the vote on one party.

Liberal Democrats quadruple seats on West Berkshire Council

In the local elections this week Liberal Democrats regained control of Newbury Town Council, Thatcham Town Council and quadrupled representation on West Berkshire Council from 4 to 16 seats.

Fantastic results for the team and for everyone who lives in this fantastic district.

Congratulations to the team who has worked hard, even when not elected, to make sure that the message got out. We can Demand Better.

Thank you to everyone who voted Lib Dem.

For full results in your area:
District Council Results 2019: http://decisionmaking.westberks.gov.uk/mgElectionResults.aspx?ID=9&RPID=9798865

Town and Parish Council results – Newbury and Thatcham: http://decisionmaking.westberks.gov.uk/mgElectionElectionAreaResults.aspx?EID=10&RPID=9581271

And please stick with us – there is more fun to come on May 23rd. Now we work together to Stop Brexit.

Thinking of voting Green?

key_green_laws

This piece was first published in 2015. The argument still stands: If you want a government that will protect the environment, Vote Lib Dem.

Last night on the doorstep I met a couple of people who were thinking of voting Green. I would like to address their concerns, here, and make it clear: if you are worried about the environment and climate change – please vote Lib Dem. These are the reasons why: 

In government, Ed Davey and the Lib Dem team delivered a significant green agenda for the UK. This included:

  • Securing £37bn investment in renewable electricity
  • Establishing the world’s first Green Investment Bank
  • Leading Europe to agree a new more ambitious EU-wide climate change target
  • Planting more than 1 million trees

Our team also halted Conservative plans to scrap Natural England and give up on the England Coast Path (comment, here, from our own MP). I’m pleased to report that when Dan Rogerson took over in DEFRA he secured safe funding for the coastal project.

Here in Newbury and West Berkshire, I need your support to put a halt to ten years of Conservative neglect of the environment in our area. 

If you want to create a more environmentally friendly, fairer society in Britain, voting Lib Dem, you are safe.

See also:

– Dan Rogerson DEFRA Minister visits West Berks: 

– Green in Government

– Five Green Laws

George Monbiot, “the minister destroying what he is paid to protect”

Climate Emergency – the power of youth

Cable: Today’s events should give profile to our climate emergency

Responding to the visit of Nobel Prize nominated climate change activist Greta Thunberg to Parliament today, Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable said:

“Young people leaving their classrooms and lying down on the streets of London have given much needed profile to the climate emergency our planet is facing.
 
“As we welcome the hugely impressive Greta Thunberg to Parliament – a sixteen year old who has led a global movement – I am doing my small part by leading a debate this evening on the related issue of the damage plastics are doing to our natural environment. 
 
“I’ll be pressing Ministers to make data about the contribution of plastic production and use to global warming.
 
“The public is becoming more and more aware of the need to reduce waste as part of our efforts to be kinder to the environment, and I hope today’s events will help everyone to take notice.”